Book Review: The Wolf by J.R. Ward

Posted January 5, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Wolf by J.R. Ward

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Wolf by J.R. Ward
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Gallery Books on November 16, 2021
Pages: 429
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also by this author: Possession, The Shadows, The Bourbon Kings, Blood Kiss, The Beast, Blood Vow, The Chosen, Blood Fury, “Dearest Ivie”, The Thief, "The Rehearsal Dinner", "The Reception", Consumed, The Savior, Blood Truth, Where Winter Finds You, The Sinner, J.R. Ward, A Warm Heart in Winter, Claimed

Second in the Prison Camp paranormal romance subseries set in Caldwell (and Connelly), New York, and revolving around vampires, wolven, and cops. (It’s part of the The Black Dagger Brotherhood universe.) The couple focus is on Lucan and Rio. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books on my website.

My Take

I had a hard time reading The Wolf, it was so boring. Loyalty is good. Caring for others is good. Nothing wrong there, but Ward never explained why the three, er, four, of them didn’t set everyone free. What did they need to stay for? What was the point?

It’s sad, as the characters weren’t boring, but the action was, even with Ward using third person global subjective point-of-view, mainly from Rio’s and Lucan’s perspectives. We do get chunks from V as he thinks about his own issues, and José has his own thoughts about policing, Butch, and the patience of his lovely wife.

Ward kept going on and on and on with Lucan and Rio obsessing over wanting each other yet keeping their hands off. It makes V’s issues so much more interesting. Oy. Whatever happened with that video camera trained on Rio? How does Rio’s old patrol partner have a key to her apartment, if she’s been seconded from the FBI? If Luis’ problem(s) led to using drugs, why does Ward dance all around it? Is there some reason we’re not supposed to know what set Luis off? The Executioner has superstitions . . . Yeah? So what are they? Give us a hint. As for Walters . . . what’s that? A town? I know it’s not Willows, which is located in Connelly . . .? I can’t imagine any other place Lucan and Rio may want to liberate.

It’s a good thing Ward mentioned that Lucan had claimed Rio. I still didn’t believe it because Ward didn’t do much to make me believe it.

Ya know, it’s so easy for Lucan and his conspirators to keep Rio hidden and then get her out, so why is it so hard to not escape with their burned friend?

I do enjoy the snarky exchanges between the Brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but it felt as if Ward went overboard on it. Hey, if I’m thinking it, it must be, lol.

Poor Jack. He can’t get past being free, not while his brothers are still imprisoned. And it’s a bad case of survivor’s guilt. Going way back in time, we get a perspective on Butch’s previous life as a detective when José reminisces about his old partner.

Yeah, there’s action, but it’s overwhelmed by the whining. Still, I do want to read #3, if only to see that prison camp busted . . . I hope.

The Story

After events in The Jackal, the Brotherhood wants, needs, to find the location of that new prison camp.

What Rio wants is Mozart.

The Characters

Officer Ainhoa Fiorela Maite Hernandez-Guerrero, a.k.a. Rio, is undercover looking to pin a drug dealer. As Rio, she’s one of Mozart’s lieutenants. Luis is the brother who died of an overdose. Her mother drank herself to death after that; her father left after the funeral.

Lucan “Luke”, a half-wolven half-vampire imprisoned since 1983, is forced into acting as a drug supplier by the prison camp commandant.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is . . .
. . . the royal vampire guard for Wrath, the Blind King of the vampires. George is Wrath’s seeing-eye dog. Vishous “V”, with that lethal hand of his and his foresight with a passion for S&M due to his upbringing as the son of the Bloodletter, is mated to the half-human, half-ghost Doc Jane, a trauma surgeon (Lover Unbound, 5). They room in The Pit with Brian “Butch” O’Neal, a half-human, half-vampire former Boston detective who disappeared. Butch was the coming of a prophecy, the Dhestroyer who was the answer to the vampires’ prayers. Rhage, a.k.a. Hollywood, who loves candy and eating, turns into a gigantic purple dragon. He’s happily mated to Mary, a therapist (Lover Eternal, 2). Lassiter is a fallen angel who has taken on the role of the Scribe Virgin (The Thief, 16). Tohr is one of the original Brothers (Lover Reborn, 10), and Xcor is the leader of the Band of Bastards (The Chosen, 15).

Fritz Perlmutter is the ancient doggen who runs the household. Saxton is the Brotherhood’s solicitor, an expert in the Old Laws and mated to Ruhn (Blood Fury, 3 (Blood Fury, (Black Dagger Legacy 3). Darius had built the mansion to house the Brothers and keep them safe. His home in the city is used as a meeting place between the king and his people.

Jack “The Jackal” is a vampire architect who had designed the mansion Darius built up in the hills. Nyx is the vampire he mated in The Jackal, 1. Peter is the son the old commandant (and Peter’s mother) had held over his head. Nyx has a sister, Posie, and Grandfather living with them as well.

Caldwell PD
Captain Stanley Carmichael is in charge. Willie is Carmichael’s executive assistant. Detective José de la Cruz works Homicide — he’s retiring in two weeks! — and has been friends with Stan forever. He had also been Butch’s partner and still misses him very much. Detective Tryvon Abscott is José’s new partner and has a wife, Qiana, and two kids. Officer Tan is with Internal Affairs. Kim is with scene-of-crime. Officer Leon Roberts had been an undercover officer and Rio’s handler.

Ruby is Stan’s happy ex-wife. José’s wife is studying for her PhD.

Mozart is the alias for a major drug dealer. Mickie is one of his dealers. Erie is another of Mozart’s lieutenants. Chins is rumored to be Mozart’s eyes on the street.

Johnny Two Shoes had been an associate of Mozart’s biggest competition in the state. The Ballous.

Willow Hills Sanatorium, Connelly, New York, is . . .
. . . an abandoned hospital taken over by the fleeing prison officials with their prisoners. Originally set up by the glymera as a legit prison, it’s now used as a dumping ground for vampires they’re angry at. The Executioner runs the place. There’s a female head of the guards. Mayhem, a murderer who killed because he was bored and the nasty Apex, another killer, are Lucan’s only allies inside. Kane had been an aristocrat framed for murder by his father, and he had committed suicide to help Jack and Nyx escape in The Jackal. Nadya is a nurse.

Tiller and Gordo are the young teens who dare the boundaries of the sanatorium. Isaac and Mark were grounded after that fire at the Thompsons. Spaz is a drug addict Rio is trying to help. Maria is fleeing an abusive boyfriend. Stephan Fontaine is a wealthy philanthropist who recently moved to Caldwell. The pregnant Elsie Orchard is Rio’s neighbor.

Glymera is the class of vampires at the top of the social heap. The Lessening Society had been the vampires’ main enemy.

The Cover and Title

The cover is deep in grays and greens that form the cell bars the half-naked Lucan is grasping. We primarily see that well-muscled arm with his body in profile although his head with those gorgeous blue eyes are turned towards us. The author’s name is in an embossed yellow and starts at Lucan’s nose. The title uses the same embossed yellow and begins at the crease of his elbow. Below that is the series information in white.

The title is all about Lucan, The Wolf.

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